Anticipating eventual City Commission approval of a bigger and grander facility than originally anticipated, Jon F. Swift Construction held a lightly attended community workshop on Sept. 25 to lay out plans for an approximately 17,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse at the Bobby Jones Golf Course,
Restoration of the original 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course is complete as grow-in continues. Meanwhile, work on the nine-hole adjustable par-3 course across Circus Boulevard is underway in addition to on-course restroom buildings and a practice range service building.
With an anticipated budget of up to $9 million, in addition to a golf shop the clubhouse is proposed to include a full-service restaurant on the second level with a veranda overlooking the course, cart barn and office space. That budget includes a fleet of electric golf carts.
The new clubhouse would feature Old Florida architecture and be built next to the temporary facility, a three-unit portable structure that has been installed.
“We've been working on how this clubhouse lands on the site so that we can take advantage of the beautiful views that it will have from the second floor that has 360-degree views out to the golf course and to the nature park,” said Chris Cianfaglione of project consultant Kimley-Horn.
The rear of the clubhouse will provide the backdrop for golfers playing into the No. 9 green with the front facing the No. 10 tee boxes and No. 18 green. The restaurant and veranda will overlook practice chipping and putting greens and the No. 1 tees.
Cianfaglione said construction of the clubhouse is expected to begin in the second half of 2024. Golf course architect Richard Mandell of Pinehurst, North Carolina, led the design of the course, restoring the 36-hole complex to its original 18-hole Donald Ross layout, which opened in 1926.
The Ross course and Mandell’s par-3 adjustable creation are both expected to open for play in November. Jon F. Swift is constructing the accessory buildings, which include restrooms at the northeast and southwest corners of the property, the driving range service building, which will also include restrooms, and the Gillespie Building, the starter building for the Mandell short course.
Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.